Review: ‘Paddington Gets in a Jam’ at DR2 Theater

By Jonathan Spira on 12 January 2020
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Paddington, the friendly bear from Peru who was memorialized with a statue at Paddington Station in London, is the main character in a series of children’s stories by British author Michael Bond.

The bear, who apparently has an outfit for everything as well as a well-known fondness for marmalade, is the star of a new off-Broadway show, “Paddington Gets in a Jam,” at the DR2 Theater.  Appearing as a life-sized puppet operated by three talented puppeteers – Jake Bazel, John Cody and Kirsty Moon – Paddington tries to be helpful to his high-strung and soon-to-be frustrated neighbor, Mr. Curry, portrayed so wonderfully by A.J. Ditty, who needs to tidy up his home because his Great-Aunt Matilda (Jess Bulzacchelli) is paying a visit after a trip abroad.

He first appears on the charming and rather ingenious two-level set designed by Peter R. Feuchtwanger and David Goldstein to borrow a cup of sugar. We soon learn that this unflappably polite English bear, who will at the most inflict a hard stare on those deserving of his disapproval, and Mrs. Bird, the housekeeper in the house he lives in next door are making his favorite (or is it favourite?) marmalade jam.

Hilarity ensues.

The audience – mostly the under ten crowd and their parents – greatly enjoyed the slapstick humor in the show, as did I and my theater companion.  Indeed, the sceenes where Paddington tries to use a vacuum cleaner are worthy of Buster Keaton or Lucille Ball.  The show runs for an hour, which should be within the attention span of the most ardent Paddington fans.

THE DETAILS

Paddington Gets in a Jam
Limited Engagement Through March 8, 2020
DR2 Theater
103 E 15th Street
New York, N.Y. 10003
Running time: 1 hour
www.paddingtongetsinajam.com

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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